Thursday, November 3, 2011

Considering School Administration? Advice and Suggestions

If you are among the many educators considering a move into administration, here are a few things for you to consider.
  • The idea that you are still "one of the teachers" will change.  That's not to say you cannot maintain relationships, but eventually you will notice a change in how you are perceived.
  • You now have to make tough decisions, which can make you feel quite alone and anxious at times.  This happens to even the most collaborative and transparent leader.  You can delegate authority, but not responsibility.
  • You will never see it all.  The saying, "I've seen it all" will not apply.
  • Your personal metric for success may need to change.  As an administrator, you will be more removed from the classroom.  Measuring your success purely in terms of student success only speaks to part of your work.  Find the areas you have a direct line of impact and define your success there also.  What do you need to see from teachers that speaks to your leadership effectiveness?
  • I hope you like solving problems (and helping others solve problems) because much of your time is spent doing just that.  Not ever issue is a grave one, but if you are not actively looking for solutions, you are probably observing operations so you can anticipate future needs and getting out in front of those items.
One final note.  If you think you could be a good administrator, go talk to one you are comfortable with about their work.  The better school leaders are eager to help other educators become future school leaders.

If you are a new administrator, feel free to write a comment about things that you observe about your work that you were not expecting.

Of course, if you are considering administration or are a new administrator, feel free to contact me for any advice or to throw some ideas at someone who will listen.      
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